Good profile of Frances Hardinge:
I meet Frances in Dublin, a city she is visiting for the first time, as part of the International Literature Festival. She is wearing her trademark, broad-brimmed hat.
There is something of the foppish hippy about her, but her beautiful manners, upright posture, and her accent seem Victorian. She is softly spoken, but impeccably articulate. She is a person of conviction.
“I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be an author,” she says. “I know I was producing some full-length work, short, full-length work, when I was thirteen, hand-written, never showed it to anybody. Just as well, because it’s not very good.”
Thankfully, neither was her critical eye and she remained doggedly determined to write, either “until published or until [she] dropped dead”. At sixteen, she began sending stories to publishers. Mostly, she would hear nothing back, but, “on occasion, there would be some feedback”.
“I remember one, in particular, which went along the lines of ‘we loved your story, we just didn’t know what it was about’,” says Frances.